Indoor and outdoor producers have been coping with extremely cold conditions already this winter. On its website, BPEX offers advice on keeping pig units running smoothly during cold periods.
According to BPEX:
Extreme weather: Consider a plan of action in case last winter’s hard, prolonged
weather conditions are repeated this year:
– Think about how to make sure all pigs are fed if the feed line freezes or if accessibility is reduced. Also consider how to manage road access for feed deliveries if there is frost, ice or snow
– Plan how to maintain water supply to all pigs if the pipes freeze
– Consider extra allowances for bedding to ensure pigs are well bedded and warm
– Accessibility – think about who can get to the pig unit in extreme weather conditions.
Also consider how to get around and check all pigs each day.
Repair and maintenance: Repair any cracks, holes and broken sides in all buildings and outdoor huts to prevent loss of heat through the walls, ceiling or floor. Poorly maintained buildings can create draughts for pigs as well as increased humidity. Ensure proper maintenance to reduce any chance of heat loss through exterior doors or windows. Checkbuilding insulation and repair and replace if necessary – this will not only improve the environment for pigs, but also help save on the energy bill. If pigs are cold they will use energy to generate heat, which can result in decreased performance and productivity.